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Full text of "Lectures And Essays"

46                    LECTURES AND ESSAYS

But if mind without brain is a contradiction, is
it not still possible that an organisation like
the brain can exist without being perceived,
without our being able to hold it fast, and
weigh it, and cut it up? Now this is a
physical question, and we know quite enough
about the physical world to say, " Certainly not"
It is made of atoms and ether, and there is no
room in it for ghosts.

The other question which may be asked is
this : Can we regard the universe, or that part
of it which immediately surrounds us, as a vast
brain, and therefore the reality which underlies
it as a conscious mind ? This question has
been considered by the great naturalist Du Bois
Reymond, and has received from him that
negative answer which I think we also must
give. For we found that the particular
organisation of the brain which enables Its
action to run parallel with consciousness
amounts to this—that disturbances run along
definite channels, and that two disturbances
which occur together establish links between
the channels along which they run, so that they
naturally occur together again. It will, I think,
be clear to every one that these are not char-
acteristics of the great interplanetary spaces.
Is it not possible, however, that the stars we can
see are just atoms in some vast organism, bear-
ing some such relation to it as the atoms which